This “Research Library” serves a number of purposes. For me, this is a place to store articles I’ve read and may need to use in the future for academic purposes. My personal copies of these articles have usually been printed off and have written notes on them. If you would like access to something from this list with my personal notes, I’d be happy to help – get in touch with me on Twitter @misterwashburn
For others I hope this is a place you can come and learn about emerging technology in a curated space by an academic, teacher, and department head, who is aggressively seeking new and better ways to teach his own students. Nothing will be here that I don’t feel has a practical application to teaching and learning. If an article is geared specifically for a set of people you will know who it may be applicable to right away. I don’t want to waste your time. I am going to review as much of them as I can, as quickly as I can. These won’t be formal academia type reviews, just my thoughts on some quotes – enough to get your interest up.
Finally, if you have recommendations to add to the library, please get in touch with me on Twitter @misterwashburn
Maguth, B. M., List, J. S., & Wunderle, M. (2014). Teaching Social Studies with Video Games. The Social Studies, 106(1), 32-36. doi:10.1080/00377996.2014.961996 (download)
This article was fantastic if you are looking for a model for delivering video-game-based learning in your classroom. While the system they set up to play Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings would take a LOT of time and effort, this is the type of work that could pay off for years down the road, as long as the game remained relevant and playable. This factor, relevant and playable, is super important when deciding which game to use. The game has to be interesting to the students or they will have absolutely no interest in playing it (pg. 33)
I admire the authors’ dedication to tieing the game to learning objectives and content standards. (pg. 35) For administrators, this is a super important factor that many excited teachers who want to use games (myself in the past included) fail to consider. As much as teachers may want to use their favorite games, and even have a great idea for their use, games HAVE to still be the best tool for the job, and have the end goal of improving outcomes and increasing engagement.
Campbell, C. (2013, July 09). Shakespeare … Steinbeck … Harper Lee … Ni no Kuni. Retrieved February 09, 2017, from http://www.polygon.com/features/2013/7/9/4470108/buffalo-game-school
I’ve shared this article more times than I can remember. Back when Polygon did long form, this was one of the best pieces they did – it helps that it was completely relevant to my interests. There is a TON of great information in this article about the value of games in education, especially if you are coming to the subject without background knowledge in education but knowledge of gaming. Ni no Kuni is a fantastic choice by this teacher as it has phenomenal narrative design and exemplifies the type of storytelling happening in gaming today. Ni no Kuni is a reminder that some of the best storytellers in the world are using games to ply their trade.
There is some tremendous advice in this article related to trust and communication that every teacher thinking about using video games in their classroom needs to read and consider. I was a big fan of Mr. Campbell prior to this piece and an even bigger fan afterward. Please give this piece a read, you will come out inspired.
Squire, Kurt. “Open-Ended Video Games: A Model for Developing Learning for the Interactive Age.” The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning. Edited by Katie Salen. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008. 167–198. doi: 10.1162/dmal.9780262693646.167 (download)
You don’t have to convince me of the value of video games in education. You ABSOLUTELY don’t have to tell me about how Civilization as a series can be formative for students. I almost directly attribute my desire to be a teacher and History major to a massive interest in Civilization II as a kid. I’ve played over 1000 hours of every core Civilization game made. All that being said, I’ve never really seen the model for how it could be used in a classroom as clearly as you see in this paper by Kurt Squire. In “Open-Ended Video Games: A Model for Developing Learning for the Interactive Age” you see a pretty clear model for how Civilization in particular, and games in general, can be tools to engage students and propel their learning outside of the classroom.
Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality
Noh, Y. (2015). Imagining Library 4.0: Creating a Model for Future Libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 41(6), 786-797. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2015.08.020 (download)
The article was in regards to “Library 4.0”, in other words, how emerging technologies may be used in Library contexts and the academic thoughts around that. While there is a lot of “weedsy” information in here, I did want to note a few very interesting excerpts from it:
“Libraries, by nature, are very similar to living organisms in that they are influenced by external pressures to constantly evolve, including, in this case, changing information technology environments and a greater reliance on web-based services”
“The revolutionary service spirit of next-generation digital libraries is based around the ideals of space for free community networking, technological resources provided free of charge, connections with the local economy, a sense of belonging to community, and promoting a high level of trust in the local community”
I found both of these passages profound in their idea that the library can and should be the center of community learning. Libraries can be a place where people come, not only to find information and have basic access to technology that they may not have personally, but also can be a place to inspire people and move them towards their passions and interests in ways that schools and home life cannot. There is an incredible opportunity for libraries to be an agent of change in a community. These opportunities rely on a library system which is nimble, adaptable, and aware:
“Breeding (2011) argued that plans in preparation for future libraries are essential for fully utilizing new technologies as soon as possible to avoid obsolescence.”